NETWORK RAIL NEWS ITEM SENT TO HPC FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
Vegetation Management – Luton – Bedford
We are writing to inform you that Network Rail needs to undertake essential vegetation management work near Harlington.
This means that we will remove trees/woody vegetation from 0-6.5 metres (21 feet) either side of the tracks (from big trees to small bushes) for the safety of our track workers and to provide a safe and reliable railway. This will also include removing trees which are within striking distance of the railway should they fall.
The 6.5m (21ft) is the horizontal distance taken from the running rail (metal track). If the 6.5m (21ft) is up to the railway boundary then all vegetation/trees will be removed. If the railway boundary is closer than 6.5m (21ft) then again, all vegetation/trees within that boundary will be removed. However, if the railway boundary is more than 6.5m (21ft) away then we will only remove trees/vegetation within the 6.5m (21ft) or reduce trees that if they fell would fall onto the operational railway track. A diagram from our standard is provided with this letter.
We recognise that the railway line provides a great natural wildlife corridor that attracts many species of animal, birds, flora and fauna, but one that needs to be carefully managed all year to keep the railway safe. Before we clear vegetation, we carry out a risk assessment of the area to see if protected species may be present. If protected species are found, then the appropriate exclusion zones are put in place. Where suitable, logs and branches will either be left on site to create a safe habitat for wildlife, chipped and spread evenly across the site or completely removed.
To undertake this work, we will use a variety of equipment that can include chainsaws, flail machines, chipping machines and handsaws. Unfortunately, this equipment means some disturbance is unavoidable, but we will make every effort to minimise any unnecessary noise. Furthermore, those working on site are briefed on working responsibly in the local community.
Work will typically be undertaken between the following dates/times:
Date of start of project: 26 February 2020
Anticipated date of completion of project: 29 May 2020
Shift Times: 08:30 – 16:30 (day works), 23:00 – 12:00 (Saturday night), 23:25 – 05:45 (Sunday to Thursday nights)
Days of the week work will take place: Monday – Sunday
Any working outside of the hours stated above will be notified in a separate letter with the exact dates and times.
Please note that this will be a moving worksite over ten miles, and we do not anticipate disturbance outside any individual property for more than two days as we work along the line. Unfortunately, we are unable to be specific when these dates will be.
I hope this information is helpful and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience these essential works may cause. For further information about our work which takes place on the railway please visit www.networkrail.co.uk/livingbytherailway alternatively if you have any additional questions or concerns, please visit www.networkrail.co.uk or telephone our 24-hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41
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